Creative Access has supported diversity in publishing since 2012 – now they need your support

Martin Reed

Martin Reed

Martin leads the SoA's Communications team. He oversees our strategic communications and campaign-based activities, including PR, social media, events and partnerships.

The Government has cut more than £2 million in funding for diversity charity Creative Access. Please sign the petition to show support.

It’s no secret that the UK creative industries do not fully represent the diversity of the UK. In publishing, this has been a been a major focus for discussion, with the Building Inclusivity in Publishing 2016 conference looking at “every point of the publishing ecosystem to ensure equal representation in our industry, from authors right through to the consumer.”

It’s an issue that we believe deserves input from all quarters, so we were shocked this week to learn that Creative Access, an organisation dedicated to addressing the issue of serious under-representation across the creative sector, now faces closure after losing more than £2 million in Government funding.

Creative Access matches black, Asian and minority ethnic interns with paid placements in the creative industries. To date, they have placed more than 700 people, 90% of whom moved into permanent jobs at the end of their placement.

We have worked closely with the charity over the past couple of years and we were honoured to receive their Trailblazer Award just this week. To date, six Creative Access interns have worked with us, most of whom stayed on with us as permanent staff or moved into permanent publishing positions.

Samia Gundkalli joined us from Creative Access in October and has already been promoted to work full time in our Prizes team. Commenting on this week’s news, she said:

“Without the help and support of Creative Access, I would never have been given the opportunity to join the Society of Authors and have such brilliant exposure to the publishing industry. Cutting its funding at a time when diversity campaigns in creative industries are just gaining traction would be devastating, and would rob thousands of other young BME people of the chance to pursue careers which otherwise may be inaccessible to them.”

Yesterday, Pan Macmillan pledged £50,000 to help save the organisation and committed to double its intake of Creative Access interns. We urge other organisations that have worked with the scheme to follow their example.

And join us in signing the petition on change.org to make the Government aware of the value Creative Access has brought to organisations like SoA, the rest of the industry and to the people it supports.

Our seventh intern under the scheme will join us at the beginning of January. We hope she won’t be our last.

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